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Poverty, evictions and forced moves

The loss of a home can be a traumatic experience for anyone but the difficulties are exacerbated for those with limited financial means.

Our research for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation showed that the rising rates of evictions within the private rented sector are linked to the overall growth of the sector and to the cuts in local housing allowance. The existing rates of Local Housing Allowance (LHA) were not sufficient to enable low income households to secure alternative accommodation if they lost their home, often causing physical or mental health problems or employment difficulties, which impacted family members.

The report concluded that the lower end of the housing market is effectively dysfunctional and low income households are particularly vulnerable to evictions and forced moves. It made a number of recommendations which, while they do not address the key imbalance, may help to mitigate against some of its worst effects. These included policy recommendations relating to LHA; the sanctioning of Housing Benefit; and the need for more social housing to be built; as well as practical suggestions for central and local government, including ways of providing advice and information to empower and protect tenants; and suggestions for better communication between local authorities and tenants.

 


 

Publication Date

July 2017